Bockfjorden is located in the northern part of Spitsbergen, west of Woodfjorden. It owes its name to a polar researcher Franz Karl von Bock. It is distinguished by a variety of landscapes. In the west it is surrounded by glaciers, in the east by red sandstone mountains and in the south there is an inactive Sverrefjellet volcano and famous hot springs in Jotunkjeldene.
Unusual springs and flora
Jotunkjeldene is located at an altitude of 50 m above sea level. The two geothermal springs located on a fault in the bedrock are formed thanks to the former activity of a nearby volcano. The water in the springs is ground water, heated all year round to the temperature of at least 20°C. As a result of the dissolution of minerals by the warm water flowing out of the bedrock, large terraced deposits of carbonate have been formed, which shifted moraine clay to the sides. They are extremely fragile, so you cannot walk on them.
Eight kilometers south of Jotunkjeldene there is Trollkjeldene with more hot springs. The temperature of the water there is about 28°C.
Bockfjorden belongs to central-antarctic tundra zone, therefore the flora in this region is more thermophilic than in the north. However, Jotunkjeldene and Trollkjeldene are unique places in terms of botanics. Within a kilometer from the hot springs there are a few species of vascular plants, mosses and algae not found anywhere else in Svalbard. Thanks to this, geese, reindeer and grouse can be found here.